Millions of M-Pesa customers can now pay for goods and services in more than 200 countries under a deal with Visa that further cements the platform’s leading position as a mobile money service provider.
Safaricom inked the deal with Visa to form M-Pesa GlobalPay Visa Virtual card that allows them to transact up to Sh150,000 per payment and Sh300,000 per day.
The deal is set to lift the profile of M-Pesa at the international stage as it takes on global giants.
Customers will activate their M-Pesa GlobalPay Visa Virtual card by selecting M-PESA GlobalPay, under “Pay” or “Grow” option. They can also activate it by dialling *334# then selecting option 6 for “Lipa Na M-PESA” followed by “M-PESA GlobalPay”.
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“By partnering with Visa to provide the M-Pesa GlobalPay Visa virtual card, we are looking to bridge the gap for our customers who would like to use M-Pesa anywhere across the world,” Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said.
The two firms are also targeting to launch the M-Pesa GlobalPay Visa Virtual Card Tanzania, Congo DR, Mozambique, Lesotho and Ghana.
The deal will boost Visa’s efforts to penetrate more African markets riding on the M-Pesa platform.
“Visa is committed to expanding the payments ecosystem across Africa by opening up the global marketplace for every single consumer. This partnership with Safaricom is an important step in helping to achieve this,” Vice President of Visa and General Manager for East Africa, Corine Mbiaketcha, said.
The two firms said the service will be exclusive to online payments outside the country to protect customers from incurring forex conversion costs on local online payments billed in Kenya Shillings.
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The deal is expected to shore Safaricom’s earnings from the mobile money services at a time M-Pesa revenues fell for the first time in five years.
Safaricom earned Sh82.56 billion in M-Pesa revenues in the year ended March, a 2.1 percent drop from Sh84.43 billion in the period to March 2020.
Last year’s earnings from M-Pesa marked the first drop from the revenue stream in five years given that it has been growing by at least Sh9 billion annually since 2018.
Safaricom is betting on the increased use of cashless payments that took root in 2020 following the outbreak of the Covid-19 to grow its reach across Africa and globally.
The telco had 50 million active users in Africa end of last September, a number that looks set to grow through the deal with Visa.
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